Legislative Agenda

During the Texas legislative session, we will list the Texas Ports Association legislative agenda here as well as information on federal and state issues relevant to Texas ports and the maritime industry.

State Legislation

The 84rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convened January 13, 2015. For other important dates and information, see the Texas Legislature website www.capitol.state.tx.us/.

Funding for port infrastructure projects

The Texas Ports Association supports funding the Port Access Account Fund from general revenues of the State of Texas.  Chapter 55, Section 55.005 of the Texas Transportation Code provides for the creation of the Port Access Account Fund as an account in the general revenue fund.

Federal Legislation

Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund

Allocations from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMT) are through the Army Corps of Engineers (Corp’s) budget, but these monies are not automatically spent on dredging projects. Spending from this account must be considered through the regular budget cycle which includes funding levels proposed through the President’s Budget and ultimately Congressional appropriations.

In June 2014 the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) was signed into law. WRRDA provisions prioritize navigation projects and improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project management process to better deliver projects on time and on budget. The bill also promotes use of the HMT for its intended purpose.

The Texas Ports Association encourages Congress to continue support of full use of the HMTF as proposed in the 2014 WRRDA.